M
Name Meningitis
Related to/Also known as Meningococcal disease

Septicaemia

Symptoms

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining (meninges) which covers the spinal cord and the brain.

Common symptoms are usually high fever, headache, stiff neck and a red/purple rash which remains when pressed and looked at through a glass tumbler.

Types

Meningitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection, or is occasionally due to a fungal infection.

Viral meningitis can be very unpleasant, but is generally less severe and is usually without long-term effects.

Bacterial meningitis is more serious and, although some do make a full recovery, others may be left with problems such as long-term brain damage, hearing loss and epilepsy.

The meningococcal bacterium that causes meningitis can also cause septicaemia (blood poisoning). If a patient has some symptoms of both meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia, then together these two forms of the disease are known as meningococcal disease.

Useful national contacts Meningitis Trust and Meningitis Research Foundation have merged to form
Meningitis Now
Email: info@meningitisnow.org
Link opens in new window www.meningitisnow.org
Nurse-staffed Freefone Helpline 0808 80 10 388
Online resources Meningitis Now free mobile app
Link opens in new windowwww.meningitisnow.org/meningitis-explained/signs-and-symptoms/download-our-mobile-app

Meningitis (NHS Choices)
Link opens in new window www.nhs.uk/conditions/meningitis/pages/introduction.aspx
News and events

Liverpool research appeal to create a more effective vaccine for pneumococcal meningitis
Link opens in new window www.meningitisnow.org/how-we-help/campaigns/liverpool-research-appeal

"New meningitis vaccine for students and children" (BBC Wales, August 2015)
Link opens in new window www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-33734323

Our resources

The library at The Brain Charity has a range of reference resources on this condition and on a wide range of disability-related issues.

This includes a copy of the Brain & Spine Foundation's booklet "Meningitis: A fact sheet for patients and carers".